Author Topic: Your own personal mysteries.  (Read 279203 times)

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A.P. Wulfric

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #195 on: May 19, 2010, 06:00:57 PM »
I solved a family mystery just last week!

My maternal grandfather was an orphan-abandoned in the streets of NYC when he was 2 or so.  I was always told that he was placed in a Catholic orphanage, given a Catholic name, and there he lived until his "mother" claimed him at age 12 so she could take his earnings.   My mom knew his pre-altered last name, but no record of it existed anywhere-Ellis Island, etc.

I finally decided to register and pay for an Ancestry.com account. Not only did I find this missing woman who is allegedly my great grandmother, but I found the true last name (slightly different) AND my mom's long lost brother-who also started a family tree! 


On that note-I'm more than happy to look up anyone using ancestry's searching too-it scans immigration records, death certificates, social security records, census, naturalization records, etc.

Send me a PM and I'll be on it.  I love things like this!

blue2000

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #196 on: May 19, 2010, 06:35:50 PM »
How far back do those records go, do you know? Because we have family records dating back to the 1700s, when one of my ancestors came to Canada. He briefly lived in the US.

Family legend has it that the community he joined was mostly teetotalers. He felt that was a crime against humanity ;D so he left for Canada. Don't know how true that is, but it is funny to see Mother spit nails when anyone mentions it.
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Shea

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #197 on: May 19, 2010, 06:47:12 PM »
Mine's more like the genealogical mysteries rather than the truly interesting creepy ones.

I'm descended from Brigham Young on my maternal grandfather's side. Nobody in the family is Mormon anymore; in fact, my grandfather is Jewish. At least he was raised Jewish. A few years ago he was visiting me in Portland and we drove past the enormous Mormon Temple. He asked brightly if I thought they'd let him in, and when I said probably not, he said "You know, I was baptized a Mormon when I was a baby."  ??? He didn't know how or why, but he has a certificate saying he was baptized (right after his bris or something? I have no idea). It was pretty weird. I would love to figure out the LDS ancestors, learn which of Young's wives we're descended from, and how the family went from being Mormon to being Jewish. Odd transition. I hope someday to go to Salt Lake City and try to find this stuff in the records, since the LDS Church keeps excellent genealogical records.


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Luci

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #198 on: May 19, 2010, 07:03:50 PM »
Please be careful of the family registry sites. My grandmother's date of death is 25 years earlier that in happened. All of the other information if correct, so I'm sure I have the right Lucinda. I am getting no help in correcting it.

Also, my greatgrandmother's middle name is spelled 3 different ways on various sites, and none of them match the death certificate that I have.

I'm pretty discouraged and never add anything to my Family Tree Maker unless I was there or have at least 2 sources that match. Other amateur genealogists I have talked to have similar experiences

DangerMouth

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #199 on: May 19, 2010, 08:54:46 PM »
I also have an Irish mystery grandfather. By the age of 16 he was in an English prison for his involvment in the Easter uprising of 1916, and was either broken out or someone paid his way out of prison. He was given a passport and put on ship to the US. These are things discovered through hints or slips, but he was pretty closed-mouthed about it, and to this day, we're pretty sure we never knew his real name.

He apparently continued to support the IRA, because one day sometime in the 60's the FBI showed up their doorstep. My grandma stonewalled them (not too hard, because I don't think actually knew anything) and they must not have had anything solid, as they never came back.

So all my Irish relatives are from my grandma's side, and grandpa never went back to Ireland.

He had a ghost, too, he called it 'the white lady' and it obviously terrified him, but he never really talked to much about that either.

Pinky830

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #200 on: May 19, 2010, 09:20:06 PM »
My grandfather was illegitimate. My great-grandmother raised him as a single mother, in rural Georgia at the turn of the century. So, one mystery is obviously the identity of my great-grandfather. My dad had an inkling of who he was. A bit creepily,  "possible dad" was distantly related to my husband.  :o

The other is how my great-grandmother managed so well. I don't ever remember getting the impression that her very conservative community shunned her in any way. She even sent him to COLLEGE...I have no idea how she managed to afford it.

There's a lot of back story there, and everyone involved is dead.

And as an aside, that's my dad's dad. So another odd aspect is that if she had married the dad, I would have had a different last name.

DangerMouth

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #201 on: May 19, 2010, 09:52:57 PM »
I have to admit, I find the whole concept of genealogy kind of weird and random.

Everyone seems to pick one ancestor and trace down and out (decendants). Oh they may go back, through one person, as far as they can reach, but it's rarely more than one line. But the idea of all my antecedents is more interesting to me, and I can't even imagine the kind of research that would involve.

I have two parents, 4 grandparent, 8 greats, 16 great-greats, etc. Going back ten generation, there is a possible 1,024 ancestors there. Who were all these people?

I know my grandfather's grandfather's name, but not my grandma's (I do know my g'ms father's names, and my maternal g'ma's mother's maiden name, but that's about it.)

It's also random because it's invariably traced through the male line, which considering the way our DNA gets passed down, really makes no sense to me. Yet the woman were the ones to change their names, so you'll never know if your marrying someone with your own DNA unless your family keeps really good records. (not that it matters in terms of double recessives, etc., I think after second cousins the risk is considered to be about the same as random, but still.. ) I just think this is really intersesting, but I seem to be alone in this.

vorbau

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #202 on: May 19, 2010, 10:03:20 PM »
Blue2000 and Shea - the LDS Church maintains a genealogical website at www.familysearch.org that contains all if not most of the LDS genealogy records as well as a great many from Europe, many dating to the 17th century. You may be able to find things relating to your families there. We found DH's maternal ancestors in Germany back to 1666.
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hot_shaker

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #203 on: May 19, 2010, 10:07:29 PM »
It's also random because it's invariably traced through the male line, which considering the way our DNA gets passed down, really makes no sense to me. Yet the woman were the ones to change their names, so you'll never know if your marrying someone with your own DNA unless your family keeps really good records. (not that it matters in terms of double recessives, etc., I think after second cousins the risk is considered to be about the same as random, but still.. ) I just think this is really intersesting, but I seem to be alone in this.

I'm sorry to geek out on you here but what exactly do you mean by this?  Are you talking about mitochondrial DNA?

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Luci

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #204 on: May 19, 2010, 10:09:16 PM »
Blue2000 and Shea - the LDS Church maintains a genealogical website at www.familysearch.org that contains all if not most of the LDS genealogy records as well as a great many from Europe, many d@ting to the 17th century. You may be able to find things relating to your families there. We found DH's maternal ancestors in Germany back to 1666.

I just rechecked. That is the one that has my family so messed up. However, none of them are LDS, if that makes a difference.

I'm not saying your information is wrong at all; just be cautious.

Edit: Just saw a quote of mine, so came back to fix sloppy wording. How many times do I need to proof to get it right?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 09:20:54 AM by Lucinda7 »

Melxb

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #205 on: May 19, 2010, 10:09:55 PM »
If we're talking genealogical mysteries here....I'd like to know more about my great grandmother.  She passed away in 1994 and was born in 1900.  She was 94 when she died and was an interesting lady.  She met my great grandfather when he and two of his brothers went to San Francisco around WWI to find work.  They were Mexican boys so couldn't enlist in the US Army.  Also, there was a small thing called the Mexican Revolution going on and they wanted out.  Anyway, my GGF and his two brothers met these three apparently gorgeous Irish young women and they married them.  Three Mexican brothers married three Irish women and brought them back to Mexico to live.

My great grandmother spoke perfect Spanish with a very noticeable Irish accent and from what the family says, never left Mexico again.  She was beautiful.

Anyway, the mystery regarding my great grandmother has to do with her profession.  She was officially a domestic servant, but there was some whispering that the three brothers found their ladies in a house of ill-repute.  ;)  I don't mind either way, because I think my great grandmother is a cool lady, but I've always wanted to know about this part of her life and why she never returned to Ireland.

Dazi

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #206 on: May 19, 2010, 10:22:51 PM »
It's also random because it's invariably traced through the male line, which considering the way our DNA gets passed down, really makes no sense to me. Yet the woman were the ones to change their names, so you'll never know if your marrying someone with your own DNA unless your family keeps really good records. (not that it matters in terms of double recessives, etc., I think after second cousins the risk is considered to be about the same as random, but still.. ) I just think this is really intersesting, but I seem to be alone in this.

I'm sorry to geek out on you here but what exactly do you mean by this?  Are you talking about mitochondrial DNA?

I think the sentiment here is that back in the day (before DNA testing) you really had no way of knowing who the biological father really was for anyone.  The mother was a more definate known factor, unless there was some hidden adoption going on.
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hot_shaker

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #207 on: May 19, 2010, 10:26:40 PM »
It's also random because it's invariably traced through the male line, which considering the way our DNA gets passed down, really makes no sense to me. Yet the woman were the ones to change their names, so you'll never know if your marrying someone with your own DNA unless your family keeps really good records. (not that it matters in terms of double recessives, etc., I think after second cousins the risk is considered to be about the same as random, but still.. ) I just think this is really intersesting, but I seem to be alone in this.

I'm sorry to geek out on you here but what exactly do you mean by this?  Are you talking about mitochondrial DNA?

I think the sentiment here is that back in the day (before DNA testing) you really had no way of knowing who the biological father really was for anyone.  The mother was a more definate known factor, unless there was some hidden adoption going on.

Oh, I see, the "Mama's baby, Daddy's maybe" approach to genealogy.  :D

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ica171

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #208 on: May 19, 2010, 10:26:55 PM »
I have to admit, I find the whole concept of genealogy kind of weird and random.

Everyone seems to pick one ancestor and trace down and out (decendants). Oh they may go back, through one person, as far as they can reach, but it's rarely more than one line. But the idea of all my antecedents is more interesting to me, and I can't even imagine the kind of research that would involve.

*snip*

I usually try and find as many relatives as possible.  Genealogy is hard work with usually scarce resources, so IMO it's good to have more information than you strictly need.

I've been researching our genealogy for years.  Specifically on my dad's side, as my mother's side has been pretty thoroughly researched by my mother's cousin (I think), including a trip to Germany.  But my dad's side...ugh.  For at least three generations it was popular to give your firstborn son your name (although my grandparents gave their firstborn son my grandfather's first name as his middle name; my dad did the same with my brother--should make things easier) so unless you have some corroborating dates or a middle name it's really hard to tell which person you're learning about.  Plus his last name, while fairly rare here (except it seems a lot more common in the South), is pretty common in England and Ireland.  As far as I know we don't have any Irish ancestors, but who knows?

kitty-cat

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Re: Your own personal mysteries.
« Reply #209 on: May 19, 2010, 10:28:49 PM »
Hey, if we're talking family mysteries, I would like to add my own.

Why did my "father" never want to see me?  He angered my mom so bad that I have a blank spot on my birth certificate.

And, is he really the cause of everything I blame him for: height, shoe size, the fact I started shaving in 3rd grade to avoid the "Gorrila Girl" taunts.




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